A Civil War Biography

James Edwin Slaughter

Slaughter, the great-nephew of James Madison, was born in June of 1827 in Slaughter's (Cedar) Mountain, Culpepper County, Virginia. He enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute on 6 August 1845 but left that institute on 6 July 1846 to accept a commission in the US army. He fought in the war with Mexico then remained in the army serving at various posts, first in the Dragoons then the artillery.

When the war came Slaughter, still in the army, decided to side with Virginia and the South. He was dismissed from the US army on 14 May 1861 and joined the Confederate army as a 1st lieutenant in the artillery. He was assigned to P.G.T. Beauregard's staff in Alabama and Florida. Slaughter was promoted to brigadier general on 8 March 1862 and was assigned to Braxton Bragg's staff in Mississippi and Alabama. Slaughter next became assistant inspector general on the staff of Albert S. Johnston and was at Shiloh when Johnston was killed. Slaughter continued on the staff of the Army of the Mississippi after Beauregard took over command. Slaughter would serve in the same position in Bragg's Army of Tennessee. In April of 1863 Slaughter was sent to Texas and served as chief of artillery later and chief of staff on the staff of John B. Magruder. Slaughter would remain in Texas for the remainder of the war. As commander of the Western Sub-district of Texas he was in overall command at the 12 May 1865 battle at Brownsville, Texas, the last land battle of the war.

Following the war Slaughter escaped to Mexico where he lived for many years. When he returned to the US he settled in Mobile, Alabama where he worked as a civil engineer then as a postmaster. He then moved to New Orleans. He died while visiting Mexico City on 1 January 1901.

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